Four Dutch consulates will be saved, but one will be shuttered, in a new plan backed by MPs. During a debate in the Tweede Kamer with Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans on cost-cutting measures, MPs opted to spare the consulates in Antwerp, Chicago, Milan and Munich at the expense of the office in Osaka, according to newswire ANP.
CDA and PvdA are pleased with the results of the mid-term municipal elections. The Labour Party did well in Friesland and became the largest party in Heerenveen and Leeuwarden . The Christian Democrats won the election in Alphen
According to the weekly poll of Maurice de Hond, D66 would have 21 virtual seats. That are 9 seats more than D66 now occupies in the House.
D66 was one of the three constructive opposition parties, who helped the government to a solution for the budget of 2014.
While D66 won in this poll, the largest party in the House, VVD, lost again one seat opposite the poll of last week. The liberals would now occupy only 19 seats while they occupy in real 41 seats in the House.
After two weeks of heavy negotiations, the politics in the Hague have come to an easier mode. There was no fireworks in the House during the first day of the financial discussions.
The financial discussions in the House always come one week later than the general discussions about the Dutch National Budget.
After ten days of negotiations, the government and D66, SGP and ChristenUnie have reached an agreement on the budget for 2014. What did they agree upon and how does the Netherlands responds to the agreement?
By total surprise GroenLinks has announced on Wednesday to stop with the negotiations to find a solution for the National Dutch Budget.
Bram van Ojik told in TV show Pauw and Witteman, that he didn’t see any progress and therefore decided to step out.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and PvdA leader Diederik Samsom are very optimistic that a solution, to get a majority in the Senate, will be found in a few days.
The negotiations, this time without GroenLinks, continued on Wednesday. In the afternoon it were the financial specialists of the negotiation partners who met with the minister of Finance. In the evening the group leaders, the Prime Minister and the Vice Prime Minister joined the negotiations.
Long negotiations on Tuesday did not lead to a bad scenario so far. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold was even optimistic after the last meeting which took place until midnight.
On Tuesday afternoon the financial experts of the four opposition parties and the coalition met with minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Later in the afternoon Lodewijk Asscher joined the meeting together with the experts of the House on social affairs. At 10 pm the Prime Minister and the leaders of the parties also joined the discussions.
On Monday the negotiation between opposition and government started again after the weekend. At 10 pm crucial discussions started between Rutte, Dijselbloem and the group leaders of the House of D66, GroenLinks, SGP, ChristenUnie, PvdA and VVD.
On Monday afternoon Vice Prime Minister Asscher and minister of Finance Dijsselbloem first talked with all the financial specialists of the involved parties. The meeting started at 1.30 pm till 6 pm.
The round-up of some of this week’s most noteworthy events and news stories features: the ongoing effort of Greenpeace to get their crew released, the developments around Oad, and NS still trying to best the Fyra nightmare
On Wednesday evening D66 was invited for a discussion with the Prime Minister, the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. No details were mentioned by any of the negotiators.
After the one-on-one discussion between Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem and the party leaders of the constructive opposition parties plus 50Plus, the minister sent a new proposal to each of them.
After the discussions the opposition parties were still negative, in the way that they thought that too little was proposed by the government.
Following the budget discussions in the House of last week, Minister Dijsselbloem is talking this week with opposition parties to exchange some of the government plans with alternatives proposed by them.
Prime Minister Rutte debated more than six hours today with the opposition about the plans for 2014. No final commitments were done, so what was achieved?
Wednesday was the first of two days Budget Discussion in the House.
On Wednesday and Thursday the House will discuss the Dutch National Budget which was presented on Tuesday last week by the government. The opposition had a week to study and come up with alternatives.
Coalition partners VVD and PvdA see a recovery of the Dutch economy. This was clear from a debate between the group leaders of the six largest parties in the House.
Both Zijlstra (VVD) and Samsom (PvdA) told their opponents that they were seeing signs of recovery, like the sectors housing and export.
The opposition had another view. Wilders (PVV) and Roemer (SP) think that this government ruins the economy with all the cuts. Wilders even said that Zijlstra and Samsom were possibly from another planet.
Voters continue to turn their backs on the Labour Party (PvdA). If elections for parliament were held now, the party would only get 11 seats, one less than the figure a week ago. This is evident from the poll results published on Sunday by Maurice de Hond.
According to de Hond, the PvdA has never scored so poorly in the polls.
In addition, the VVD coalition partner would lose a seat, according to the poll. The Liberals would now have 19 seats, the lowest number since 2010. In the House, VVD and PvdA have 41 and 38 seats, respectively.
House D66 groupouse H leader Alexander Pechtold wants to break open the social agreement. He said this on television at Knevel and van den Brink.
According to Pechtold, reforms in the labor market, such as the easier dismissal laws and reduction of duration unemployment benefits, are too much delayed by the social agreement. The social agreement does not create jobs, but destroys jobs, said Pechtold.
Opposition parties, CDA and D66, expect clarification from Minister of Social Affairs, Lodewijk Asscher, about the implementation of the social agreement and the ministry’s speed in tackling unemployment which they think is too slow.
The construction of a new stadium for Feyenoord in Rotterdam, seems not going to happen. Leefbaar Rotterdam, the largest opposition party in the city council that a decisive say in this matter, is against the plans.
The 14 members of Leefbaar Rotterdam in the council will vote on Thursday unanimously against the construction. Ronald Schneider, leader of the group in the council, announced that on Wednesday night in the television show Toggle & Van den Brink, after the group there spoke earlier that evening about the subject.
Too much risk
The discussions between a delegation of the government and opposition parties D66 and GroenLinks has failed. "The negotiations have stopped," said D66 leader Alexander Pechtold on Monday about their conversations to see how they could help to realize several coalition agreements.
These included the topics 'arrangements for parents with children' and 'higher education'. Pechtold: "There's too much difference between the wishes of D66 to invest in education and the opportunities that the government wants to create. This could have been an agreement."
Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs is worried about the speed of the increase in unemployment in the Netherlands. Chairman of political party D66 Alexander Pechtold said that the Netherlands is following Greece, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal. “It’s a category we shouldn’t feel comfortable in”.
The savings of 100 million euro on public broadcasting in the coalition agreement must be turned back, according to ChristenUnie MP Gert-Jan Segers. He also said on Monday that most other opposition parties agreed on this.
The Chamber will talk on Tuesday with State Secretary Sander Dekker (Media) about media policy. The position of the opposition is important, because the coalition has no majority in the Senate. Since the PVV is in favor of the cuts, they could support the government in these plans in the Senate.
Train stations should no longer be the responsibility of the Dutch Railways, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) said D66 Member of Parliament Stientje van Veldhoven on Monday. To make the division of roles in rail infrastructure more equal the ownership of stations should go to ProRail, the railway administrator.